SUSURLUK . . . REVISITED

Human beings are so made that the ones who do the crushing feel nothing; it is the person crushed who feels what is happening. Unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed, to feel with them, one cannot understand. ~ Simone Weil

Anyone who knows anything about Turkish politics knows about Susurluk. If you don’t know about it, you can check out this link and educate yourself because what we have here is a case of “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

On November, 9 of this year, a bomb was thrown into a bookstore in a little place called Şemdinli (Şemzîn in Kurdish), at the southeasten edge of the Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, where three infamous borders meet, Turkish border, Iranian border and Iraqi border . One person, with PKK sympathies, was killed in the bookstore and another wounded. The criminals, or should I say, terrorists, who threw the bomb were stopped by an angry crowd of Kurds. The terrorists fired at the crowd killing another person and wounding a few others. Eventually the crowd managed to apprehend the terrorists and, now here’s where it gets really interesting, two of the terrorists were recognized by the populace as being members of Turkish military intelligence (JITEM) .

Residents of Şemdinli even found a number of weapons and documents in the car used in the attack.

One might reasonably think that catching the terrorists moments after the attack, an attack that had been witnessed by residents, would guarantee that the terrorists would be taken into custody and kept there. Not so! By the 12th of November, two of the criminals were free. Guess which two they were? Exactly. . . the two from military intelligence.

Photos of protests here, courtesy of the BBC .

Outraged over the attack and the release of the guilty, Kurds began protests in Şemdinli, protests which quickly spread to other cities in the region. Finally, the unrest was felt as far away as Istanbul, a place far more removed from Şemdinli and the rest of “The Southeast” in atmosphere than it is geographically. It was not long after the release of the JITEM agents, indeed, it was during the protests, that the first whisperings of “Susurluk” began to be heard.

No sooner whispered than done. It appears that a Susurluk type of cover-up is in the works:

A two-hour summit held by several top Turkish Ministers and military Generals to evaluate the unrest in the provinces of northern Kurdistan (southeastern Turkey) came to an end with the attendees deciding that “illegal separatist demonstrations must absolutely not be tolerated”.

The meeting named ‘The Semdinli Summit’ was held at the office of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. The summit was attended by the Turkish Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Vice PM Abdullah Gül, Chief of the Turkish General Staff General Hilmi Özkök, Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek, Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu, Chief of the Turkish Land Forces General Yasar Büyükanit, Chief of the Gendarmerie Forces General Fevzi Türkeri.

The summit was held to evaluate the unrest in the Kurdish provinces which started after the leaders of a Turkish black-operations intelligence (JITEM) unit, which was exposed after it had carried out a bomb attack on a Kurdish bookstore in the city of Semdinli on Nov. 9, were released by Turkish authorities.

Kurdish civilians in Semdinli who witnessed the attack, chased and captured the unit. Weapons, bombs and other military material, together with documents such as death lists, list of informers and maps over former and future Kurdish targets were captured in the unit’s car by the citizens. Two Turkish military personnel have been arrested while two others, believed to be the commanders of that particular cell, were released.

Chief of the Turkish Land Forces General Yasar Büyükanit praised Ali Kaya, the leader of the cell, and called him an “excellent soldier that knew Kurdish and worked in my staff as my intelligence officer and communicator with the KDP and PUK in the 1995 joint military operations against PKK in northern Iraq”. Ali Kaya was among the released.

Thanks to DozaMe for carrying this news .

There was one voice of reason that made its way into print even as the protestors were making their way into the streets and that voice of reason came from Mehmet Ali Birand :

The perception of the Þemdinli incidents by a majority of the public is clear. They believe these bombings were planned by people working for the gendarmerie (in other words, the military) and the police and were aimed at provoking the people.

No matter what officials say, dismissing such claims and trying to prove their arguments, the public will not believe them.

The general belief is that some individuals who wear the state’s uniform are going around bombing places, blaming the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and then using the PKK as an excuse to violently suppress such incidents.

There were already some suspicions about such incidents happening in the Southeast. There were rumors about certain state officials and those who benefited from the escalation of violence committing provocative acts to incite the PKK. However, there was no solid proof backing such claims. Some of the public believed the rumors and some didn’t.

However, the situation is very different today.

Now it is openly said that state officials were involved in such provocative acts. No one can keep a lid on the information coming from the region.

This is a huge opportunity the state would be well advised not to squander.

The Republic of Turkey needs to utilize this opportunity and wipe away its past sins.

The public knows that the Susurluk affair was covered up. No one’s hands are clean, including those of the military, the police, the National Intelligence Organization (MÝT), the Gendarmerie Intelligence and Anti-terrorism Service (JÝTEM) and even some nongovernmental organizations.

This time, everything needs to be totally cleansed.

As Birand says, the situation is very different today. The situation was in the process of becoming very different this year, as I could not help but notice on my recent trip back to Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. The atmosphere has been in a state of change for months now. The PKK called a unilateral ceasefire in 1999 and, from that time until they called off the ceasefire and began to stir in 2004, nothing was done by the Turkish state to repair the damage inflicted on the Kurdish people. The evidence is everywhere. Cities in the region are crowded with the displaced. Unemployment stands at 60% (at least) as an average throughout Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. The few factories I saw were closed. There is little hope that the Turkish state is willing to offer any solution to the problems.

Among a young population that is out of work and out of hope, PKK can offer what the Turkish state has always been unwilling to offer. PKK can offer work and food to this population of young Kurds that has been uprooted from their villages, has witnessed the humiliations and atrocities heaped upon their families and upon themselves for the crime of being Kurd. Perhaps even more importantly, PKK can offer a means to fight back, to reclaim the honor and the dignity of Kurdistan that the Turkish state has tried to destroy for almost a century. Such a reclamation of dignity for the Kurds of the North has been PKKs biggest and most lasting influence for many Kurds.

This latest insult, this new Susurluk proves that the more things appear to change, the more, in reality, they stay the same, and Mehmet Ali Birand comments on that too, in his more recent article, “A Dangerous Increase In The Kurdish Problem.”

Dara Sor recently commented on this blog that “so many are sleepless, like you and I . . .” The Kurds are sleepless, the PKK no longer slumbers, the Deep State is wide awake and terrorizing Kurdistan. It is time for the rest of the world to wake up and see the truth.

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